my red rose.

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Write a story where flowers play a central role.... view prompt


LGBTQ+ Inspirational Lesbian

My mother used to say every child was a bud, waiting to blossom, waiting for those delicate little petals to peek every so slightly through the young leaves of our youth. 

We all wander a world of marigold petals and mint, asphodel and the curled yellow petals of birdsfoot trefoil. We roam a garden full of the thorns that are suspicion and grief, dried white roses crinkling underfoot in a trail of everlasting sorrow. Their fallen, pale veils tell the story of happiness long gone, buried in the dirt under layers of crumbling leaves and dead bracken.

These scents cling to me like a burden, cling to me like long ago grievances and immortal regrets. They do not sleep, following me like the bee to the gentle wisteria, with its welcoming hospitality. Or the hummingbird to the purple foxglove, in search of the sweet substance hidden amongst all its beautiful, poisonous insecurities.

And over the years I have met all sorts of people, one after the other. I have seen every last corner of this garden of a world that we call home; the thorned brambles with their bitter words, the distressed cypress and its everlasting mourning. I have heard the simple tale of the sweetbriar, I have seen the lustful grin of a coriander. Not many are lucky enough to feel the faithful blessings of a shamrock or the soothing reassurance of the snowdrop, to hear her hopeful promises.

I have met the wealthiest buttercup and the bravest borage flower. I have been fortunate enough to be in the company of the shining yellow peruvian lily, to feel the intensity of that prosperous friendship.

The melodious song of an oat, the alluring sight of the orchid in all its well defined charm. I have felt the hug of an olive, wrapped in green leaves that promise peace. I have witnessed the fierce, passionate love of the red carnation and envy those who receive it.

I have grieved like the saddest aloe and felt the cautionary sting of the thistle. I have cried, my tears planting wormwood in the grass. I have felt the absence of a lover like the sting of the common rue, and remembered old friends like the sentimental zinnia flower. 

Fungi, a slow yet devastating reminder of man's loneliness, growing in the dark. It crawls on my skin, foreboding, a warning. Yet I find comfort, perhaps in some twisted way, in its silent resilience. 

Still, I have loved. 

I have embraced the primrose and clung to the aster with trembling fingers. I have sobbed into the ambrosia and held onto a lover with all my might. My lips have brushed the flowering honeysuckle. I have ventured down brightly lit forest paths alongside the brilliant companion that is the pink tulip, and basked in the rosy colour of their affectionate smile.

Yet, as any blessing, it must come with its thorns; with the intense love of the red carnation there is its yellow cousin, its face dark with disappointment, a rejection braced upon its mouth, ready to break hearts, silence a hopeful admirer. 

I have watched my first love wilt, watched the promise of the young lilac die. I have seen its falling mauve petals and grieved like the purple hyacinth, but no amount of cautious, desperate care is going to revive a flower which is dead and gone, returned to the earth.

But now I watch you, after all these budding spirits I've seen and met and travelled with. The wind has tossed me like a winged seed, a messenger for some greater purpose of nature herself. And there's something about you, something in the way you sway in the breeze. 

You dance in the gusts that we fight, like the soft-spoken yet determined willow tree, and it is breathtaking. You are breathtaking.

Where common plants wilt you smile ever wider. You spread your petals like carefully threaded drapery, laughing in the face of torrents that would terrify anyone else. You are a storm in itself, but also the delicate, most beautiful flower, and I am captivated.

I am but everyday grass next to you. If you are the soft growth of purple heather I want to be the white kind. I want to protect you, but I know you don't need it; there is something about that wild, beaming face that's almost child-like. You are the blossoms of a protea flower, fearless, daring. You are the brightest sunflower, staring through the rain and pinpointing the sun through all of it. 

There's something magnificent about and I can't help but wander how I happened to meet you. Of all people, it had to be the most average, plain person to be in your presence; I am almost ashamed, almost disgusted by myself. Why would you settle for anything less that perfection? Why settle for me?

So maybe... after all my admiration in you, and all my silent days spent watching you, studying that face I have come to know so well... that is why it broke my heart that day, listening to you cry. 

I have never heard someone sound so devastated.

Trembling, you tell me to leave. That it is impossible. That, for the two of us, in a world like this, we can not go on. That one day someone will find out and it will all be over. Because they were, and are, all still against us. " Two girls, what would they think? " We weave lilies into each other's hair and are shunned because of it.

You brought me a crown of oak leaves that day and begged me to go. Your tears fall like clusters of love-lies-bleeding, and for a moment that is what it is. Our love lies bleeding, hopeless. I feel the end, I feel the creeping willow branching across our bodies as we hold each other for what might be the last time. I feel it dig into my skin, I feel myself bleed.

But if I am bleeding today, my love, with you held close, may the droplets swell into roses. May the life that pumps in my veins blossom because the life in my veins is you.


We have been every type there is. First lavender, when we met, when we first bloomed. Multi-coloured, when we fell in love. And then blue, when I wondered how I'd been so, so lucky. Now we are yellow, the tears spiralling from your eyes like the tendrils of an ivy plant. And so, in the quiet character of the ivy, I will wait.

I will wait for you, silent yet always devoted. Like dandelions we will overcome this hardship, adapting and changing. In the worst of conditions we will still thrive.

Maybe one day we will run away together. Maybe one day there will be a place where our love, a secret romance like the gardenia, can grow without judgement. Because, for you, I, this simple plant, will be as strong as the moorland gorse.

For now, as we stay hidden, I will stay watchful, guarding whatever we have with piercing thorns. Because in a world like this, all we have is each other. 

I will stay vigilant, and when the time comes, the snow will melt to reveal yellow gorse flowers. They symbolise our love, lasting through all seasons. Hang on, my beloved, and remain hopeful like the blue iris. 

Like the white clover, I make a promise to you.

In this garden full of every type of flower there is, from the wisest sage to the cruelest narcissus, there's only one person that catches my eye. 

You. My beloved red rose, I love you.

March 20, 2021 13:33

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Courtney C
02:10 Mar 28, 2021

Beautifully written, flowery descriptions.


Corvus Que
02:11 Mar 28, 2021

thank you! it means a lot :)


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